Julian Assange remains in a maximum security jail, despite never being sentenced for anything but a long ago served spell for bail-jumping, and despite the US Government’s request for extradition having been refused.
It is approaching six months since I was in court to hear the decision rejecting Julian’s extradition, and it was in the same week that Baraitser ordered Julian be kept in jail pending a US appeal. Since then the US has submitted its appeal, which is somewhat intemperate in its efforts to discredit a number of highly distinguished expert witnesses at the hearing. The defense has submitted its response, including notice of points, where Baraitser found for the US, that the defense intend to counter-appeal.
Then for over three months – nothing. The High Court has not only not set a date for the US appeal, it has not even indicated if the US appeal meets the bar to be heard – there is some thought that the appeal lacks any arguable points of law and may be simply rejected. But the seemingly leisurely approach of the High Court to looking at the matter is entirely inappropriate given that, in the meantime, an innocent man is suffering the most extreme form of incarceration available in the UK.
Assange’s status is that his extradition has been rejected. He ought not to be in jail at all, let alone in such harsh conditions.
By contrast, I am sitting in my study despite being sentenced to eight months in jail. I am at liberty while the Supreme Court decides whether to hear my appeal. My lawyers believe, from their contact with the court administrators, that it is entirely possible that the Supreme Court will decide on whether to take my appeal, within the four week suspension of my jail sentence granted by Lady Dorrian. This is because otherwise I might be imprisoned.
Why can the Supreme Court potentially decide whether to hear my appeal so quickly due to the threat of imprisonment, when the High Court is taking six times or more as long to decide whether to hear the US appeal, when an innocent man is already imprisoned? It makes no sense.
It is not due to complexity: while of course Julian’s case is more important, any points of law at issue in the US appeal are notably less complex than in my own appeal. To me, the only possible explanation is the determination of the state to keep Julian imprisoned at all costs.
It is now plain that Biden intends to press forward with the charging of Julian, a publisher and journalist, under the Espionage Act. This despite the opposition, however belated, of every major news organization and every major civil liberties oriented NGO. Biden’s recent European trip was choreographed to establish his full credentials as a Cold War warrior and to ensure a western orthodoxy of hostility towards China. Biden is proving, as predicted, a perfect representative of the security and military state.
Having seen off the $15 minimum wage and proposals for meaningful “New Deal” expenditure, Biden can get down to the serious neo-liberal work of improving the fortunes of the ultra-wealthy.
In October 2020, I published a post specifically about the massive suppression on the internet of information about the corrupt dealings of Joe and Hunter Biden, particularly in Ukraine. On 10 February 2021 I published an article about the sacking of Nathan Robinson from the Guardian, which included his statement that the Guardian had spiked his column about Hunter Biden’s corruption.
Russell Brand caused a stir last week when he spoke about the suppression of information about Biden corruption, along precisely the lines of my article last October. He was of course immediately “othered”, as has been Glenn Greenwald.
There is a fascinating phenomenon in western democracies of fake liberal left political parties acting as enablers of the global billionaire elite. Biden, Starmer, Sturgeon, Macron, Trudeau, Sanchez, all pretend to be some kind of alternative to rampant neo-liberalism while acting as its most effective enablers. All are very willing advocates of not just neo-liberalism but the military and security complex and the NATO cold war stance, plus companions in the steady ratcheting down on civil liberties. None has the slightest intention of closing the gap between ordinary people and the super-wealthy.
The democracy of false choice appears to be a decent working title for the current state of western society.
Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster, human rights activist, and former diplomat. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. The article is reprinted with permission from his website.